Nigel Ghent, EMC's UK marketing director, said the agreement would make it easier for users to buy enterprise storage. "Customers are getting end-to-end enterprise server and storage solutions from a single point of contact," he said.
Under the worldwide agreement, Dell and EMC will co-brand EMC's Clariion line of enterprise storage systems. Clariion will become Dell's standard offering for storage area networks (SANs) and high-end network attached storage (NAS) installations.
The deal will help Dell satisfy a broader range of customer needs with storage products that provide additional enterprise-class features, including support for Unix operating systems. EMC hopes the deal will increase its market share in the Windows 2000 and Windows NT storage markets.
"Both EMC and Dell believe that we have an extremely strong partnership here that will benefit our shareholders and, more importantly, our customers," said Ghent.
Martin Boyce, head of enterprise systems at Dell UK, was at pains to emphasise that contrary to some reports, the deal did not mean that Dell would discontinue its SAN products.
"The current portfolio of SAN products will remain and will be supported as laid out in our roadmap," he said. "This is more a complementary product set for Dell rather than a replacement, and we are extremely keen to ensure that we will continue to support our existing customer base."
Through the agreement, Dell will augment its existing services programmes with methodologies, tools, best practices and customer training practices from EMC. In turn, consultants from EMC's global services organisation will support and train Dell's services personnel on the technical support and installation of EMC systems.